When the NHL Central Scouting Final 2023 Draft Prospect Rankings were unveiled earlier this week, there weren’t a lot of surprises, especially when it comes to the New England talent pool.
USA Hockey NTDP forwards and Boston College commits Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) and Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) both finished inside the top five.
Factoring in the European skaters, both are projected to be top 10 picks in the 2023 NHL draft this June in Nashville.
The 2023 draft is top-heavy for the local pool. After Smith and Leonard, every other prospect from New England has varying degrees of appetite among NHL scouts. While other locals will surely be picked, you could find a handful of NHL scouts unwilling to stamp all but Smith and Leonard.